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Young ostomates?

Posted: Tue Jul 12, 2016 1:00 pm

Just wondering if there's anyone else out there under 30? Not that there's anything wrong with the over 30 crowd, but it sometimes feel isolating to have people say "you're too young for this" all the time!

How do you deal with being in school/social situations with your ostomy? Has it interfered terribly?

I've written about some of these issues on my blog (just a Wordpress of my username) but I know everyone is effected differently. I feel like I'm dealing pretty well most of the time, but sometimes it is rather depressing. I start school again this fall so just trying to connect with people in a similar situation! (: 

Posted: Tue Jul 12, 2016 3:21 pm

21 here! Had an ileostomy since 18 Smile

Posted: Wed Jul 13, 2016 3:33 pm


  I guess everyone handles it differently as you said.  I had my ileostomy surgery at 23.  Luckily I had a very good support system, a lot of very good and supportive friends and family of course, and a confident attitude.  I was so happy not to be in pain or have to take medication anymore, not to mention not having to rush to the bathroom everytime I turned around, I wasn't too worried about what people thought of me. 

  No one felt sorry for me thank God because I can't stand someone taking pity on me when there are so many more people that are WAY worse off than I was.  When it came to going back to work and school, there wasn't any real issue.  When I met new people at work, school or the bar, I wouldn't even bring up having a pouch because unless you tell someone you have one, they'll never notice (for the most part).

  Now when I talked to someone that might be interested in me romantically, I would bring up how I'm a hygiene freak jokingly and how I have Crohns disease.  This of course brings up the, "What is that?" or "I've heard of that" kind of statements.  This opens the door up for more questions and a dialogue ensues.  Eventually I'd talk about the surgery I had, that I have a scar from midchest to just above my crotch followed by, "Oh, and I don't sh*t like everyone else."  Then I'd blab about how I used to be in pain constantly and how I had to frequent the bathroom often, took so many different types of drugs, etc, etc.

  Most people respond positively and are curious.  I guess the way I explain what a stoma is to them and how much more convenient it is as opposed to getting the urge to poo.  Most women I've been romantically involved with were worried about if the pouch would come off easily or were worried they might hurt me.  Most would want to see and touch the stoma through the pouch of course.  After assurances that it was anchored down and sturdy and the pouch wasn't going to pop, I was good to go.  Maybe I was just being a lil cocky.  Not to toot my own horn, but I do know that I can be a charming mofo.  wink

  I've been told by several members here that it's easier for a man to deal with having an ostomy than it is for a woman because some women are very concerned with their body image.  No more 2 piece bikini's or nice outfits, etc, etc.  That might be true for some people but I think it depends on your own attitude.  Sure I get a little depressed about not taking my shirt off in public and showing off my little beer belly but I'm still the same person no matter what.  I think in my entire 21 years of having an ostomy, I've had one person that was creeped out about it.  And maybe I'm lucky, but I figure if they can't handle me having an ostomy or are grossed out about it, then they really aren't worth having my attention.  Just my 2 cents.



  Past Member
Posted: Thu Jul 21, 2016 12:43 pm


I'm 24 and I've been up and down a lot to be honest. My first year was amazing recovery went well, back playing football, going to gigs (not drinking yet though) and getting ready for work etc. But I fell ill because of my immune system and things haven't really been going very well. I won't sugar coat it I've had a lot of leaks for some reason and I am doing nothing different to last year when it was rare that I had problems. 

I know how you feel about being too young for it because I want to travel, go to festivals and take part in this treacherous life but I just can't see it at the moment until I get my confidence back. I will say this though, I have no physical pain in my bowels etc anymore which is worth it so far!! Being ill has also got me into music, art and books a lot more than ever, rather than just sports. I'm trying to look on the brighter side whilst being patient 

Posted: Fri Jul 29, 2016 4:29 pm

Hey I'm 20, I've only had my ilestomy for a month! ūüėĄ

Posted: Thu Aug 11, 2016 7:02 am

Hey there!

I'm 22 here (Almost 23!). I was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis in October 2008. All those years I fought through. I didn't have a normal teen life, but I got through it. I just recently got my Ostomy (Last October), so I can't say exactly how I dealt with school with it. Though based on my experiences so far with my's nothing! I honestly feel like I can finally get into the world now. Those years I was fighting through, sure..I lost out on my "Teen life" and a lot of experiences. I saw my friends have a life, while I lived in a bubble. 

Getting an Ostomy was my only choice. Though it was the best choice! 

Social situations? I haven't had a single issue. Other than maybe my bag showed from the bottom of my shirt. Not a big deal at all. I have a great support system and not one person I talked to yet was negative towards my Ostomy. The best thing to do, I think at least, is just be open about it! Be funny about it! Give your Stoma a name. (Mine is Stanley. Stanley the Stoma.) I'll be out with my family, who of course is supportive. Sometimes Stanley is a little bit loud, so we just laugh. If I'm out with my friend? No big deal, half the time they just don't say anything.


If anything, I think people are interested. This ostomy bag gave me back my life. The only issue I have? Being re-introduced back into the world, not knowing how to tackle it. One step at a time and one day at a time.


Don't be ashamed by your ostomy, it's a part of who you are. If people can't except that, then that's their loss! Show that Osto-Pride off!

Posted: Tue Aug 16, 2016 5:08 pm

I'm 26 and had colostomy all of my life. Sadly school was a nightmare and my adult life hasn't been much better. 


My my opinion on being this age range with a colostomy is that making friends/starting relationships is extremely difficult, for me anyway. 

  Past Member
Posted: Thu Aug 18, 2016 12:27 pm

I feel the same way at the minute Jonny to be honest. It's hard, one of my goals is to get the courage to go to a music fest abroad but I'm a long way from that at the moment!

Posted: Thu Aug 18, 2016 1:10 pm

Hey LookingGlass, thanks for the reply. 

Yeah I feel like it takes a lot of courage to be able to get back into doing things like that, or simply trying them in the first place. Sadly, although I've had mine all my life, it's given me terrible social anxiety and pretty much stopped my social life. Hence why I'm here on this forum. 


Hopefully one day things will work out for us all! 

Posted: Fri Aug 19, 2016 1:23 am

You've proved your worth up to this point, undeniable, wisdom now and previous is inevitable, you didn't ask for it and you've survived it, the planet owns these bodies, they are just a vehicle, we are different/unique/innocent/solvers

  Past Member
Posted: Thu Aug 25, 2016 9:53 pm

I'm 24, and like Jonny I've had my colostomy my entire life. I'm also starting school! What are you studying? It's safe to say I'm a little more than was okay for me growing up, I was homeschooled some, but when I went to regualr school I didn't have a whole lot of problems, just don't ask about the one time in Biology laughing. The one mistake I feel like I made though was not telling anyone about my colostomy, I always felt like I had to hide it, which held me back from going out and doing things with friends because I was worried I'd leak. I've made a promise to myself though that I won't do that again, if anyone asks now I hope I'll have the courage to tell them about it. The thought of that terrifies me, but it's something I feel like I need to do. 


Jonny, I know what you mean about anxiety, I'm a naturally shy person anyway, throw in a colostomy and you have a recipe for disaster haha... For the past few years I've pretty much had no social life either but I've come to realize though in the past few months that I need to get back out there, life is too short to sit at home worrying about what others might think. I owe it to myself to put myself out there and live a life I deserve. I hope you'll do the same! 

Posted: Fri Aug 26, 2016 6:41 am

Thanks for your reply! I feel happier I'm not the only one in this situation! How are you coping now? Do you have a good set of friends? Sadly this is my biggest problem right now. I'm 26 and still struggling to find my place. 

Posted: Sun Nov 05, 2017 9:28 pm


I had my ileostomy surgery in 1976 (I was 1Cool. 6 weeks later I was off to college - it  was to far away to come home on weekends, so I was really on my own. I was very unsure of myself that first year.  But what I've come to realize my dorm- rates were understanding and respected my uncertainty.  I've come to realize realize my biggest fears were internal, but folks my own age were more it's no big deal.  They knew me as a person and the ostomy bit was peripheral.  Later because I wasn't embarrassed others were not either.  Whether being friends, dating, .....   I'll be frank there is a struggle for a time to become comfortable and certain of yourself, but can happen if you just let it.  I think we have to realize this is something that just happened and it is a surgery that did save my life.  The decision for most people is stark and living with an ostomy is a lot better than the alternative.  I've been in a partnered relationship for 20+ years.  I'm not your age, but I once was and I remember what it was like.  My best thoughts and wishes and I hope this is useful.


Mike q


Shoot me a note whenever you would like.

Posted: Tue Nov 14, 2017 5:09 am

I am 31 never had it

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